GAO, Mali, August 2 (ChinaMil) – A team of 24 peacekeepers from the 5th Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment to Mali have arrived in Ménaka, 300km east of Gao. This is the first time that an organic unit of the Chinese peacekeeping force to Mali has been deployed in Ménaka.
In the seven-month mission period, the Chinese engineers will be engaged in constructing defense facilities and building portable houses in a barracks of UN peacekeepers stationed in Ménaka.
Located in east Mali and close to the Mali-Niger border, Ménaka city is the home of many militant factions and frequently jolted by violent terrorist attacks. The city is recognized as the "most dangerous zone" by Sector East of MINUSMA. Since the 5th Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment to Mali arrived in its mission area in late May this year, Ménaka and its surrounding areas have witnessed at least five terrorist attacks, causing more than 20 casualties.
In light of the serious security situation in Ménaka, the Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment has made detailed plans for security defense and construction operation to ensure the smooth completion of the task assigned by the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).